Monday, January 05, 2015

5th January,2015 Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine


Friday, 02 January 2015 21:03
Posted by Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui
KARACHI: Newly elected President, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Mian Muhammad Adress on Friday called upon the Government to declare 2015 as the year for revival of economy and assured FPCCI's full support to accomplish this task. Mian Adrees, at a press conference here at the Federation House, unveiled FPCCI's plan for 2015 to contribute in the country's economic revival.

FPCCI's plan will include lobbying for political synchronisation among statesmen and politicians on economic policies-- trade policy linked to monetary and fiscal policy-- formation of compliance and implementation committee to materialise GSP-plus benefits-- launching a campaign to compliance of EU standards-- active participation in WTO related issues particularly to activate trade diplomacy to remove the impacts of Indian agriculture policy on Pakistani rice exports-- realising the importance of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and identify the root causes of low trade among ECO countries-- early signing of preferential trade agreement (PTA) between Pakistan and Turkey-- proposal for Pakistan-Afghanistan Customs Union-- and developing a domestic shipping line; it is the weakest aspect of logistic infrastructure for exports.
He also pledged to make sincere efforts for the unity among the entire business community of the country for the good of the community and the country.President FPCCI also called for due representation on the board of directors of the public sector organisations including all sea ports.Chief patron of and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Trade Development Authority S.M. Muneer said that after victory of UBG in the FPCCI's annual elections FPCCI will be given new and better role in trade development and industrial growth in the country.He praised the policies of government headed by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. When journalists sought a reply Munir said "We support the proposal to set up military courts for the trial of terrorists."

Rice importation should be banned – Dealers

Jan 3, 2015


The at the weekend asked the Ministry of Trade and Industry to ensure an outright ban of rice importation.rice importation
It said the ban on inland rice importation is not only having negative impact on the traders but also discriminatory and in favour of the major players in the industry.A statement issued by Yaw Korang, National Coordinator of SSRIDA-GH said given monopoly of large scale importation of the commodity to foreigners is unfair, and so if government finds it untenable for small scale rice dealers to be in business then an outright ban would be necessary .

“The ban as it stands now is pushing poor Ghanaians out of business and helping foreign traders to thrive,” the statement.The statement said the ministry on October 14, 2013 served a notice of ban on inland importation of rice stating that with effect from November 1, 2013, all imports of rice shall be done through only the Kotoka International Airport, Tema and Takoradi Ports.“This directive gave SSRIDA-GH only two weeks ultimatum to fold up our trading business through the border. As petty traders our capital base would not allow us to do our business through the air or by the sea. The directive also came at a time when we had made orders with loans for goods for the Christmas festivity.

“We humbly wish to state that our business is only a threat to the monopoly being practiced by foreign rice importers, whose activities are a threat to the nation`s economy because they do the importation under the cover of warehousing and sell their products for high prices in dollar equivalence before paying their revenue and sometimes run-off without paying.“We do our business in the CFA-FRANC and pay our duty into the consolidated fund at the borders before we are allowed to bring our goods into the country to sell.The statement asked Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, the sector Minister to review the ban on inland importation of rice or prohibit the trade in Ghana.

Source with thanks:http://www.spyghana.com/rice-importation-banned-dealers/

Business Honors for Jan. 4, 2015

ADVOCATE STORY
Jan. 04, 2015
The Louisiana Bar Foundation has named as Fellows from the local area Sylvia S. Lowe, an attorney with the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Lafayette, and Francisca M. M. Comeaux, an attorney with Phelps Dunbar LLP in Baton Rouge.The Louisiana Bar Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the justice system and equal justice.Fred Zaunbrecher, a rice farmer in Acadia Parish and a member of the Louisiana Rice Research Board, was honored as Farmer of the Year by the USA Rice Federation.Zaunbrecher, a fifth-generation farmer, was recognized for his farming career and leadership in the rice industry.

He graduated from LSU with a master’s degree in agronomy.He farms rice, crawfish and soybeans on 4,600 acres with his brothers.Also, Hayes rice farmer Paul Johnson and Dustin Harrell, LSU AgCenter agronomist and the next LSU AgCenter rice specialist, were among seven individuals chosen for the Rice Leadership Development Program.Kent McKenzie, a former LSU AgCenter rice breeder at the Rice Research Station, was honored with the Rice Industry Award. He became the director the California Cooperative Rice Research Foundation in 2000.
 
The American Society of Landscape Architects awarded Jeffrey Carbo Landscape Architects of Alexandria and Baton Rouge a national Award of Excellence for the firm’s design of Woodland Rain Gardens in Shreveport from among more than 200 national and international entries in the residential design category.Lane Regional Medical Center received the Champions for Quality Care Award from the Louisiana Hospital Association for its statewide Hospital Engagement Network.The award recognizes hospitals for achieving goals established as part of the federal Partnership for Patients Campaign that emphasizes improving patient care and reducing health care costs.

Why do Vietnamese scientists leave state’s research institutes?


VietNamNet Bridge – Analysts have been talking a lot lately about the so-called “domestic brain drain”, the movement of scientists leaving state-owned institutes for private companies.

Associate Professor Dr. Duong Van Chin, for example, the director of the Dinh Thanh Agriculture Research Center, an arm of the An Giang Plant Protection JSC, was a state employee in the past, working for the Mekong River Delta Rice Institute.Chin declined to reveal the salary he received in the past as the deputy head of the institute and the pay he receives now for his current job.However, he says businesses always pay more to scientists than the state-owned research institutes.

Chin said he was the specialist who brought Vietnamese rice varieties to Africa. He made many trips to the continent, either at the invitation of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), or foreign groups, or per the request by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

“I did this as assigned by the State, because I was a state employee. But now I only work on research projects which are believed to bring benefit in reality,” he said.“We conduct research now not to put our works in mothballs,” he added, explaining the difference between his two jobs.According to Chin, there are two kinds of employees in society – civil servants and employees at private businesses.In Vietnam, civil servants account for 10 percent of the population, while the proportion is just one percent in South Korea.“The number of workers receiving salaries from the state budget is too high. As a result, the pay for every worker is modest,” he said.

“Therefore, don’t criticize the scientists who leave state-owned agencies,” he said when asked about the “domestic brain drain”.A human resource development expert, who asked to be anonymous, commented that the state should not try to retain experienced specialists if it cannot treat them well.“Let them (the specialists) go. I share the same view with Chin,” he said. “They will still serve the country’s development, no matter where they work, for state-owned institutes, or private companies. Private businesses should be encouraged, because they also create assets and pay taxes to the state.”What does “treating scientists well” mean?

Chin described how scientists are rewarded for their scientific works. His company, when using rice varieties created by the Mekong River Delta for commercial development, has to pay VND200 per kilo of seeds as a royalty.However, the money is nothing if compared with the efforts the scientists had to make to create new varieties.Meanwhile, the majority of seed trading companies do not have the habit of paying royalties to scientists.

Tags:vietnamese scientists, vietnam's science and technology, vietnamese researchers,



Traders call for total ban of rice importation


The Small Scale Rice Dealers Association of Ghana (SSRIDA-GH), at the weekend, asked the Ministry of Trade and Industry to ensure an outright ban of rice importation.It said the ban on inland rice importation is not only having negative impact on the traders but also discriminatory and in favour of the major players in the industry.A statement issued by Yaw Korang, National Coordinator of SSRIDA-GH said given monopoly of large scale importation of the commodity to foreigners is unfair, and so if government finds it untenable for small-scale rice dealers to be in business then an outright ban would be necessary .

“The ban as it stands now is pushing poor Ghanaians out of business and helping foreign traders to thrive,” the statement.The statement said the ministry on October 14, 2013 served a notice of ban on inland importation of rice stating that with effect from November 1, 2013, all imports of rice shall be done through only the Kotoka International Airport, Tema and Takoradi Ports.
“This directive gave SSRIDA-GH only two weeks ultimatum to fold up our trading business through the border. As petty traders, our capital base would not allow us to do our business through the air or by the sea. The directive also came at a time when we had made orders with loans for goods for the Christmas festivity.

“We humbly wish to state that our business is only a threat to the monopoly being practiced by foreign rice importers, whose activities are a threat to the nation`s economy because they do the importation under the cover of warehousing and sell their products for high prices in dollar equivalence before paying their revenue and sometimes run-off without paying.
“We do our business in the CFA-FRANC and pay our duty into the consolidated fund at the borders before we are allowed to bring our goods into the country to sell.The statement asked Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, the sector Minister to review the ban on inland importation of rice or prohibit the trade in Ghana.



Nigeria imports rice worth $500m from Vietnam

Posted by: APA Posted date : January 2, 2015 at 10:53 am

The Nigerian-Vietnam Chambers of Commerce and Industry says that the Nigerian
government’s yearly rice import bill from Vietnam has hit about $500 million. The President of the chamber, Prince Oye Akinsemoyin, said in an interview that Vietnam was also spending about $100 million to import agricultural products such as raw cashew nuts, cassava and oil palm from Nigeria.Indeed, Nigeria imports 1 million metric tonnes of milled rice yearly from different countries, such as India, Thailand and Vietnam.

Nigeria’s Guardian newspaper quotes Akinsemoyin as saying that Nigeria’s imports covered a wide range of commodities, including those of Vietnam’s strengths such as rice.
He listed Vietnam’s major exports to Nigeria to include rubber, electric and electronic products, footwear, plastics, handicraft and fine art articles and construction materials, while the country imports from Nigeria raw cashew nuts, fruits, cotton and minerals.

Akinsemoyin stated: “Basically, Nigeria exports agricultural products. At the moment, Vietnam is the largest importer of Nigeria’s raw cashew nuts. Vietnam’s cashew import from Nigeria is about a $100 million yearly. Nigeria exports agricultural items like Cassava with which Vietnam produces starch and the raw materials Vietnam imports sea foods from Nigeria, like shrimps, fish; also oil palm, which is processed to palm oil, which goes into local production of creams and cosmetics Vietnam imports food items like coconut and also beans and fruits from Nigeria.



Ashimolowo, hungry birds fight over 140-acre rice farm

JANUARY 3, 2015 BY KUNLE FALAYI 27 COMMENTS
   
 Ashimolowoand his farmland
Many farmers in Ofada, Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State, community known for the cultivation of rice in the South West, have abandoned the crop for a number of reasons, chief among which is the headache of controlling swarms of birds which destroy rice plantations.But rice farming seems to have got an unlikely entrant in the popular Senior Pastor of Kingsway International Christian Centre, Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo.When words got in about an expanse of rice farmland in Ofada, our correspondent paid a visit to the Meridian Farm Limited and saw harvesters working on the 140-acre plantation.
In 2013, our correspondent had paid a visit to Ofada, prompted by the strange development that such a community well known for the crop no longer cultivated it.Farmers had said at the time that pests sometimes left nothing for them to harvest, which was why they had to abandon such an ‘unprofitable venture.’On Tuesday, not until after a tour and an interview with the manager of the farm, Mr. Akeem Aremu, did our correspondent learn that the massive rice plantation was actually owned by Pastor Ashimolowo.
Rice farming in Nigeria seemed to have become a dying sub-sector until the recent efforts by government in encouraging farmers to resuscitate it.Even despite this, statistics shows that a lot need to be done as Nigeria continues to consume more imported polished rice.Nigeria imports 2.1 metric tonnes of rice annually, coming only second to China as the world’s largest importer of rice.According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Nigeria spends over N356bn a year on rice importation. This underscores the frustration Nigerian rice farmers face as a result of unaffordability of needed technology, low and poor quality yields.
However, at Ashimolowo’s Meridian Farms, all these do not seem to be a problem.A harvester rolled into the plantation, swallowing both chaff and grain, spitting out both from different sides.Aremu told Saturday PUNCH that this year’s harvest was a giant leap from last year’s.“Last year, we cultivated 28 acres. But this year, we increased it to 140. Our chairman (Ashimolowo) even wanted 200 acres but the time was not enough to make that possible,” he said.When there was no sign of any hi-tech nets or other devices in place that could have kept pests at bay, our correspondent asked how they successfully cultivated the crop with the birds around.Aremu explained that rudimentary methods of chasing away or ensnaring pests were actually used.
He stated, “It was all about planning. But make no mistake, pests were our major challenge too. But we were strategic about it.“We divided the plantation into four sections and put at least 10 people in each section armed with catapults and whistles. We also used drums.“We discovered that the birds swarmed on the plantation around 6am. So, we got to the farm before them and ready to scare them away with whistles and catapults when they came for breakfast. In the evening when we knew that they would come as well, we got there before them.“Normally, the birds usually come during the most important stage of the cultivation, the milking stage. That is when the rice is still very soft and milk-like. Without adequate preparation for this stage, one may not get a single grain out of the plantation.
“A farmer came to visit us a few days ago and he could not help expressing his shock that we could successfully produce rice here. The man said he planted more than five acres of rice and he did not harvest a single grain out of it because birds destroyed everything.”At Ashimolowo’s rice farm, the workers said they had to make use of a number of traps as well to ensnare grass-cutters, which are regarded as the bane of rice plantation.Rice, which has become a staple in Nigeria, used to be the crop of choice for farmers in a number of communities in the South-West like Ofada. Over the years, these have simply vanished.However, some entrepreneurs who have the financial wherewithal are bringing back the locally produced rice.In August, Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Federal Government on the establishment of a $1 billion integrated rice-producing company in Nigeria.
When our correspondent took up Ashimolowo on the motivation behind his going into farming, he explained that it was the need to create jobs and encourage Nigerians to get back into agriculture.“I believe we should not just talk but put our words into action,” he said.He said the company planted about 500 acres of cassava during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. He said no encouragement had been given into the earlier plan to make cassava a major ingredient of bread in the country since Obasanjo left.
He said, “All the investment we put into the cultivation of cassava went to waste. Then we decided on rice as a result of the proximity of the land to Ofada. We realised that it had the potential of creating jobs and reduce importation.“As far as we know, this is the biggest rice farm in the South West and we intend to expand to 200 acres next year.” Asked if his company got incentives from the Federal Government for the venture, Ashimolowo explained that his consultation with the Minister of Agriculture had not been finalised.He expressed the hope that the farm would be provided with machinery under an arrangement that would enable it to produce large quantities of quality rice seeds which would be distributed to other farmers.
“We noticed that many rice farmers are still using mostly the subsistent method. If we get more machinery from the government, we can easily lend them out to other farmers,” he said.Ashimolowo said he was aware that a lot of rice farmers had been finding it difficult to cultivate the crop in Ofada.
He said he succeeded as a result of a combination of methods employed.He said, “Of course, God made this possible first of all. We also put in place a pot pourri of methods. We thought that if we could plant in large quantities, the impact of bird devastation would not be felt. We also ensured that no trees are within a mile radius of the farm on which birds can perch.“Our plan is to continue to increase cultivation to drive down the price so that Ofada rice will no longer be seen as exotic. We are in discussion with the Seeds Council as well on the possibility of selling the rice seeds for distribution to other farmers.”
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Rice imported from Vietnam to Nigeria hit N84b


ARTICLE | JANUARY 2, 2015 - 11:03AM
The Federal Government’s yearly rice import bill from Vietnam has hit about $500 million (N84 billion) according to the Nigerian-Vietnam Chambers of Commerce and Industry.Besides, Vietnam also spends about $100 million to import agricultural products such as raw cashew nuts, cassava and oil palm from Nigeria.Indeed, Nigeria spends about N365 million yearly on the importation of 2.1 million metric tonnes of milled rice from different countries, such as India, Thailand and Vietnam.
 President of the chamber, Prince Oye Akinsemoyin made this disclosure saying Nigeria’s imports cover a wide range of commodities, including those of Vietnam’s strengths such as rice.He listed Vietnam’s major exports to Nigeria to include rubber, electric and electronic products, footwear, plastics, handicraft and fine art articles and construction materials, while the country imports from Nigeria raw cashew nuts, fruits, cotton and minerals.Akinsemoyin stated: “Basically, Nigeria exports Agricultural products. At the moment, Vietnam is the largest importer of Nigeria’s raw cashew nuts. Vietnam’s cashew import from Nigeria is about a $100 million yearly. Nigeria exports agricultural items like Cassava with which Vietnam produces starch and the raw materials
 Vietnam imports sea foods from Nigeria, like shrimps, fish; also oil palm, which is processed to palm oil, which goes into local production of creams and cosmetics Vietnam imports food items like coconut and also beans and fruits from Nigeria.Vietnam exports rice to Nigeria; Vietnam is one of Nigeria’s trading partners in rice exportation. Vietnam’s rice export to Nigeria will be about $500 million per annum. Vietnam exports garments, fabrics to Nigeria as well as shoes and fashion accessories. Many of the cosmetics companies in Vietnam are looking for distributors in Nigeria.
Vietnam exports furniture, artifacts and art work for interior d├ęcor”.He disclosed that many companies from Vietnam are willing to invest in Nigeria.According to him, “the chamber is now looking at setting up institutions that will further foster the relationship between Nigeria and Vietnam; we are encouraging investors from Vietnam to make in road to Nigeria economy, companies like Viettel is willing to invest $7 billion into the Nigerian Telecommunication sector. Arrangement is already going on to avail them the opportunity to bid for the relevant spectrum to be able to operate as one of the telecom operators in the country. 
“PetroVina is also interested in investing in the Exploration and Production (E&P) sub-sector of the country’s Oil and Gas sector, PetroVina is interested in the upstream and the midstream sectors. We are trying to attract investments that will be able to provide employment for Nigerians. The kind of investors that will be able to have multiplier effects on the Nigerian economy”.


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